Australian History For Dummies

Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2022-05-23
Publisher(s): For Dummies
List Price: $29.99

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Explore the land down under with your friends at Dummies Australia might be most famous for kangaroos, koalas, friendly people, and decidedly unfriendly critters (like the black widow spider, yikes!), but did you know that its government was dismissed by the British Crown in 1975? Or that human beings have lived on the continent for around 65,000 years? In Australian History For Dummies, you???ll discover all that ??? and more ??? as you discover the history of Indigenous Australians, colonial explorers, and the modern inhabitants of one of the most fascinating nations, islands, and continents in the world today!

Author Biography

Alex McDermott is an author, historian, and creative producer. His passion is writing histories which tell the pivotal stories that help us understand how we came to be who we are today. He has contributed his expertise to Screen Australia, State Library Victoria, La Trobe University, SBS, ABC and many other organisations.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Let’s Get This Country Started 5

Chapter 1: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie 7

When Oldest Meets Newest 8

Getting ahead in the convict world 8

Leaping into the big time with wool 10

Gold, Gold, Gold for Australia 10

Welcoming in male suffrage 11

Striving for the ‘workingman’s paradise’ 12

Solving the Problems of the World (By Keeping Out the World) 14

Now for War, Division, Depression and More War 15

Joining the Empire in the war 15

Dreaming of ‘Australia Unlimited’ 16

Getting hit by the Great Depression 17

 And another war 17

The Postwar Boom Broom 18

Breaking Down the Fortress Australia Mentality 19

Opening up the economy 19

Opening up the borders (mostly) 20

Entering the New Millennium 20

Chapter 2: First Australians: Making a Home, Receiving Visitors 23

Indigenous Australians 24

Settling in early 24

Life in Aboriginal Australia 26

History without books 28

Trading with the neighbours 29

Visitors from Overseas 30

Macassan fishermen 30

Portuguese and Spanish navigators 31

Lost Dutch traders and wandering explorers 31

Chapter 3: Second Arrivals and First Colonials 33

‘Discovering’ the Great Southern Land 34

Finding the right men for the job 34

Setting (British) eyes on New South Wales 36

The Brits are Coming! 37

Quick! New settlement required 37

Pushing for a settlement in NSW 40

Picking a winner: NSW it is! 41

Sailing for Botany Bay 44

Getting there with the First Fleet 44

The human material: Who were these people? 45

Holding Out at Sydney 46

Using convicts as guards 46

Issuing ultimatums (and being ignored) 47

Soldiering on regardless 47

New Colony Blues 48

Second Fleet horrors 48

Courting disaster with the interlopers 49

Bennelong and Phillip 50

Then the rest of the world goes bung 51

Chapter 4: Colony Going Places (With Some Teething Troubles) 53

Rising to the Task: The NSW Corps Steps Up 54

Setting up trading monopolies 56

The ascendancy of the ‘Rum Corps’ 56

Upsetting the reverends 57

Ruling with Goodhearted Incompetence: Governor Hunter 58

Ending the trading monopoly game 59

A government store with empty shelves 60

Handing out land higgledy-piggledy 60

Hunter’s wheels fall off 62

King Came, King Saw, King Conquered — Kind Of 62

Diversifying trade and production 63

Ending the rum trade (well points for trying) 64

Pardoning convicts 65

Fixing up the mess 65

Choosing Bligh for the job 66

Bligh gets down to business 66

Bligh’s end 68

Chapter 5: A Nation of Second Chances 71

Macquarie’s Brave New World 72

Converting Macquarie 73

Living under the Macquarie regime 74

Macquarie’s Main Points of Attack 75

Pushing expansion 76

Conciliating (and pursuing) Indigenous Australians 78

Re-ordering a town, re-ordering convict behaviour 79

Becoming a Governor Ahead of His Time 81

Stirring up trouble with the free folk 81

Creating outrage back home 82

Big World Changes for Little NSW 83

Coping with the deluge following Waterloo 83

Britain starts paying attention again (unfortunately!) 83

Bringing back terror 84

Big Country? Big Ambitions? Bigge the Inspector? Big Problem! 85

Recognising Macquarie’s Legacy 86

Part 2: 1820s to 1900: Wool, Gold, Bust and then Federation 89

Chapter 6: Getting Tough, Making Money and Taking Country 91

Revamping the Convict System 92

Putting the terror back into the system and the system back into the terror 93

Bringing in the settlers 93

Bringing in the enforcers 94

Getting Tough Love from Darling 95

Running into staffing issues 95

Going head-to-head with the press 96

Coming up against calls for representation 96

Putting it all down to a personality clash 98

Enduring Tough Times from Arthur 99

Concentrating on punishment and reform 99

Recording punishments in the system 100

Fighting bushrangers and Tasmanian Aboriginals 101

Hitting the Big Time with Wool and Grabbing Land 104

Opening up Australia’s fertile land 106

Adding sheep, making money 107

Clashing with the locals: white pioneers, black pioneers 109

Fighting the land grab 110

Chapter 7: Economic Collapse and the Beginnings of Nationalism 115

Bubble Times: From Speculative Mania to a Big Collapse 116

Working the market into a frenzy 116

Investing in land with easy credit 117

Ducking for cover as the economy collapses 119

Picking up the pieces after the implosion 120

Moving On from Convictism 121

British calls to end convict ‘slavery’ 121

Ending transportation to NSW 122

Feeling the effects of ending transportation 123

Van Diemen’s Land hits saturation point 123

Feeling the First Stirrings of Nationalism 124

Britain tries turning the convict tap back on 124

Britain offers exiles instead 125

Protecting Indigenous Australians — British Colonial Style 128

Attempting to protect Aboriginal peoples 128

New possibility on Merri Creek 131

Same old tragedy on Myall Creek 132

Chapter 8: The Discovery of Gold and an Immigration Avalanche 133

You want gold? We got gold! 134

Discovering gold (and going a little crazy) 134

Introducing order and hoping for calm 136

Adding a gambling mentality to the mix 137

Working Towards the Workingman’s Paradise 138

That Eureka Moment 140

Rumblings of discontent 141

Tensions boil over 141

The Arrival of Self-Government 144

Votes for a few men 144

Votes for many men 144

Suffrage goes rogue 147

Unlocking the Arable Lands 149

Moving the squatters 149

Making new laws for new farmers 151

Dealing with squatter problems 151

Facing up to non-squatter problems 152

Chapter 9: Explorers, Selectors, Bushrangers and Trains 155

Explorer Superstars 156

Seeking thrills in the ‘great unknown’ 156

 Then making the unknown known 157

Sturt and Leichhardt Go Looking 158

Sturt — have boat, will walk 159

Leichhardt also walks right off the map 160

The Great Race — Stuart versus Burke and Wills 161

Seeing the back of Burke, losing Wills 161

Super Stuart — just a pity he’s drunk 163

Selectors and Bushrangers 165

Moving on from the selectors’ dust heap 166

Bushranging nation 167

Ned Kelly: Oppressed Selector’s Son? Larrikin Wild Child? Stone-cold killer? 171

Kelly’s key events 172

The man in the iron mask 174

Growing Towards Nationhood Maybe 175

A telegraph to the world 175

It’s raining trains 176

Chapter 10: Work, Play and Politics during the Long Boom 179

The ‘Workingman’s Paradise’ Continues 180

Growth brings jobs 180

Workingwomen’s paradise too 181

Workers’ Playtime 182

Beating the English at cricket 183

New codes of football 183

The Big Myth of the Bush: Not So Rural Australia 185

Rearranging the Political Furniture 186

Charting new colonial directions 187

Intervening in the economy 192

Chapter 11: The Economy’s Collapsed — Anyone for Nationhood? 197

From Boom to Bust 198

The bubble before the pop 198

And now for a big collapse 199

Three strikes and we’re out — industrial turmoil 203

Birthing the Australian Labor Party 205

From little things 206

Two Australian halves of a Labor story 206

Labor politicos and Labor unionists — the struggle begins! 207

New Nation? Maybe Maybe Not 209

Why Federation happened 209

How Federation happened 212

Three men who made Federation happen 217

Part 3: The 20th Century: New Nation, New Trajectories 221

Chapter 12: Nation Just Born Yesterday 223

Advancing Australia: A Social Laboratory 224

Defining the Commonwealth 225

What the judges said 226

What the politicians did 226

What everyday people thought 227

Passing Innovative Legislation 228

Franchising Australian women 229

Establishing bold new protection 231

Deciding on a fair and reasonable wage 232

Voting in Labor 233

That Whole White Australia Thing 234

Passing the Immigration Restriction Act 235

Promising ‘protection’ — and delivering the absolute opposite 236

Excluding Chinese Australians 238

Dealing with the ‘piebald north’ 239

Deporting the ‘Kanakas’ 240

Pushing ‘purity’ 241

Chapter 13: World War I: International and Local Ruptures 243

Gearing Up for Global War 244

Building up Australian forces 245

Choosing the best party to lead the wartime government 245

Why get involved? 246

Australia at War 246

Proving ourselves to the world, part I: Gallipoli 247

Proving ourselves to the world, part II: The Western Front 249

General John Monash engineers some victory 251

Home Front Hassles 253

Getting on the war footing 254

Irish troubles 254

Conscription controversy 257

When Billy goes rogue — aftermath of the Labor split 260

Moving the Pieces around the Global Table: Australia at Versailles 262

Chapter 14: Australia Unlimited 263

Expanding Australia 264

Postwar Australia — from sour to unlimited 264

Postwar blues? Take the ‘Men, Money and Markets’ cure 266

Australia Not-So-Unlimited 272

Borrowing unlimited for little Australia 272

Land disasters 273

Schizoid Nation 274

Sport, the beach and picture shows 275

Cars, radios and Californian bungalows 275

Returned soldiers — elite, but angry 276

The race bogey 280

The Workers of Australia 280

Labor turns hard left 281

Labor in state governments 282

An attack of the Wobblies 282

Bruce arbitrates his own destruction 283

Part 4: 1930 to 1949: Going So Wrong, So Soon? 287

Chapter 15: A Not So Great Depression 289

Crash and Depression 290

Borrowing like there’s no tomorrow 290

Here comes tomorrow 291

The man from the Bank (of England) 291

The Melbourne Agreement 292

A(nother) Labor Split 293

Two different solutions for the Great Depression problems 293

A party shoots itself in both feet 295

Lang sacked and Labor in tatters 297

Threats to Democracy from Best Friends and Enemies 300

Seeing the virtues of communism 300

Forming secret armies 301

Mistakes and Resilience through the Crisis 304

The politicians fail 304

The people endure 306

Celebrating 26 January 1938? Yes Mourning and Protesting? Also yes 307

Chapter 16: World War II Battles 311

Building Up to War 312

Defences through the Great Depression 312

Embracing the Singapore Strategy 313

Belatedly prodded into action 314

Dealing with Early War Problems 315

Problems with tactics and technology 316

Problems with officer training and promotions 316

Problems with weapons 317

Overseas Again 317

War in northern Africa 317

War in the Mediterranean 319

This Time It’s Personal: War in the Pacific 319

Britain can’t do everything: The fall of Singapore 320

Attacks on Australia 321

Um, America — can we be friends? 323

Turning the tide in the Coral Sea and on the Kokoda Trail 323

Jungle victories 327

Petering into significance 328

Tackling Issues on the Home Front 329

Industrialisation and business expansion 329

Rationing and control 330

Women in war times 331

Taxing everyone and building a welfare system 332

Chapter 17: Making Australia New Again 335

Restarting the Social Laboratory Under Chifley 336

Chifley’s Postwar Reconstruction 337

Focusing on public works and welfare 337

Developing the public service 338

Increasing legislative interventions 340

Coming up against High Court troubles 340

Calwell and the Postwar Migration Revolution 341

Looking beyond Britain to meet migration needs 342

Breaking the mould of mainstream Australia 342

Shifting Balances with Foreign Policy 345

Giving a voice to all nations in the UN 345

Choosing between America and Britain 346

Treading On an Ants’ Nest — of Angry Banks 347

Taking a tentative step 347

Going full-steam down the nationalisation road 348

Part 5: 1950 to 2000: Prosperity and Social Turmoil 351

Chapter 18: Ambushed — by Prosperity! 353

Economics of the Postwar Dreamtime 354

Developing industry and manufacturing 354

Accepting ‘new’ Australian workers 355

Indigenous Australians push back against new policies 356

Suburbia! The Final Frontier 359

White goods make good friends 359

New neighbourhoods and isolation 360

The Rise and Rise of Bob Menzies 361

Appealing to ‘the forgotten people’ 361

Appealing to women 362

Appealing to everyday freedoms 363

Tackling the Communist Threat 365

Menzies tries to ban the Communist Party 365

A man called Petrov and another Labor split 367

Chapter 19: Taking Things Apart in the 1960s and 1970s 371

Moving On from Empire 372

Still loving Britain 372

Losing Britain all the same 373

Looking to Japan and America 374

Defending Australia with America 375

Attack of the Baby Boomers! 377

Ending White Australia 377

Gaining rights for Indigenous Australians 381

Fighting for women’s rights 383

Crashing — or Crashing Through — With Gough 383

It’s (finally Labor’s) Time! 384

The Whitlam typhoon 385

When the wheels fall off 387

Chapter 20: When Old Australia Dies Is New Australia Ready? 389

The Coming of Malcolm Fraser 390

Launching the good ship Multi-Culti 391

Fraser foiled! By shifting economic sands 392

Deregulation Nation 394

Welcoming in ‘Hawke’s World’ 394

Feeling the effects of short-term excess 397

Deregulating the labour market 399

Fighting the Culture Wars 400

Keating fires the starting gun 401

Bumps on the multi-culti road 402

Howard versus the ‘brain class’ 403

Pauline Hanson enters the debate (and turns Howard’s head) 405

Battling Over Native Title 406

Acting on the Mabo judgement 406

Panicking after the Wik judgement 407

Part 6: 2000 and Beyond: Seeking Solutions to Global and Local Problems 411

Chapter 21: Into the New Millennium 413

Still Dealing with the Outside World 414

Protecting the borders 414

Flashpoint Tampa 416

Dealing with the Bali bombings 417

Facing Up to Challenges at Home 418

Apologising to the Stolen Generations 418

Creating more wealth for more people 419

New political directions 421

Chapter 22: Facing Off Between Two Australias 425

A Dozen Years with a Changing Beat 426

The Australian Cavalcade of Events 428

Revolving the door for prime ministers 428

Turnbull’s time 431

Turnbull undone 435

Believing in election miracles 436

Tackling Three Seriously Significant Issues 437

That big China question 437

The People versus Big Tech 439

The People versus COVID 440

Leaders, Politics, Culture and Two Australias 444

From tribe to brand 444

Politics? Downstream of culture 446

Culture? Downwind of politics 446

Part 7: The Part of Tens 451

Chapter 23: Ten Things Australia Gave the World 453

The Boomerang 453

The Ticket of Leave System 454

The Secret Ballot 454

The Eight-Hour Day 454

Feature Films 455

The Artificial Pacemaker 455

The Practical Application of Penicillin 455

Airline Safety Devices 455

Permaculture 456

Spray-on Skin 456

Chapter 24: Ten Game-Changing Moments 457

Cook Claims the East Coast of Australia 457

Henry Kable Claims a Suitcase — and Rights for Convicts 458

Gold Discovered 458

Women Get the Vote in South Australia and Federally 459

Building a Fortress out of Australia — the White Australia Policy 459

Australia splits over Conscription 460

Australia on the Western Front 461

The Post–World War II Migration Program 461

Lake Mungo Woman 461

Mabo 462

Index 463

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